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Debate for Padre Island (1962)
Gordon Wilkison
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    The proposal to turn Padre Island into a national seashore began in 1936, but only after World War II did the island's value come into perspective. With the housing boom of the postwar era, Texans took notice of Padre Island's attractive real estate and commercial development potential.
    Senator Ralph Yarborough, interviewed here, introduced the Congressional bill about designating Padre Island as a national seashore in 1958. The public largely sided with his argument for preservation, giving him the nickname, "the People's Senator."
    United States Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall
    General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Sadler, seen here, initially opposed the bill because he worried that turning over the land and its minerals to the federal government would result in millions of dollars of lost local revenue. He ultimately supported the initiative after ensuring the protection of the Permanent School Fund.